Bad Move PSA/ Springfield/Key to Bliss/Not Inevitable- 9/04

Smart Marriages ® cmfce
Mon Sep 27 12:04:29 EDT 2004


subject: Bad Move PSA/ Springfield/Key to Bliss/Not Inevitable- 9/04



- BAD MOVE
- FAITH GROUPS JOIN TOGETHER, PROMOTE STRONG MARRIAGES
- THE KEY TO LONG-LASTING MARITAL BLISS
- MARRIAGE....EVERY THOUGHT I NEVER HAD
- DON'T THINK OF DIVORCE AS INEVITABLE
- BETTER TO BUILD BOYS THAN MEND MEN

#######################

- BAD MOVE

WOW!! I just watched "Bad Move" the brand new, TERRIFIC PSA produced by
First Things First (FTF), and trust me, it's worth your time to go to the
web site and view it. It's geared to twenty-somethings and is a powerful
30-second spot about the dangers of living together before marriage.

This is the second in a three-part PSA marriage series produced by First
Things First - a series created to strengthen marriage in their community.
They are making the PSA available to other communities across the country -
it's only $1,000 to air it for a full year or sign a three-year agreement
and it's only $750 a year. You can personalize the PSA - include the contact
info for your Community Healthy Marriage Initiative, agency or organization.
This is an incredible bargain - there are enormous time and production costs
to create something like this. Thank you Julie Baumgarndner and FTF!! This
should inspire all of you to go out and get a sponsor - a bank, department
store, real estate company, local foundation, Chick-fil-A or a Chick-fil-A
counterpart (see last item in this post) - to help.

The spot can be viewed on the First Things First website at
www.firstthings.org <http://www.firstthings.org/> (Click on Bad Move). For
more information contact First Things First at 423/267-5383.
#############################
- FAITH GROUPS JOIN TOGETHER, PROMOTE STRONG MARRIAGES
Sept 22, 2004
Springfield News-Leader Staff

(I was away and didn't get this announcement to the list in time, but want
to share this anyway to show you how coalition members are moving on - and
how they're using speakers from Smart Marriages like Judge Sheridan and Rev
Young in their efforts. Want you all to stay "inspired". - diane)

Religious leaders in the Springfield area are joining together to promote
healthy marriages through an initiative with Ozarks Marriage Matters.

At 6:30 a.m. Thursday (Sept 23), representatives of nearly every local
Christian faith group will sign a "Community Marriage Policy" in which they
commit to taking actions to reduce the divorce rate and promote marriage.

During the breakfast, two speakers x Judge James Sheridan and the Rev.
George Young x will address efforts they are taking toward that goal.

Sheridan, district court judge from Lenawee County, Mich., organized the
judges in his county to require premarital education for couples being
married in civil ceremonies.

Young, pastor of Holy Temple Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, has introduced
the healthy marriage initiative in his church's focus.

Ozark Marriage Matters is a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to
strengthening marriages and reducing the divorce rate within the Ozarks.

The breakfast event will be at Second Baptist Church, 3111 East Battlefield
Road. A training conference will continue throughout the day.

Both are open to the public.

For information, call Dr. Jennifer Baker, executive director of Ozark
Marriage Matters, at 823-3423.

##########################
- THE KEY TO LONG-LASTING MARITAL BLISS

The key to long-lasting marital happiness sounds a bit jaded, but
researchers from The Ohio State University and the University of Florida
insist they've nailed it: Lower your expectations for marriage, and you
won't be so disappointed with the relationship's normal ups and downs.

We tend to have such a rosy and romantic view of marriage that our
unrealistic expectations for happily-ever-after are getting us into trouble.

The BBC News Online reports that couples who think their relationship is
perfect are just setting themselves up to be knocked down once the wedding
cake is eaten and the honeymoon is over. For better or for worse, for richer
or for poorer, we need to approach marriage with a more realistic view. And
couples who do that are happier in the long run.

Eighty-two couples who had been married less than three months participated
in the four-year study in which each spouse was independently questioned.
Seventeen couples divorced by the end of the four years. Those who believed
their partner would be unfailingly kind and loving and agree with their
every word, managed to retain this positive outlook by being forgiving and
having charitable explanations for their partner's negative behavior,
reports the BBC. But those individuals who had extremely high expectations
and did not have these excellent relationship skills, were more likely to be
sorely disappointed with their one true love.

Oddly, the couples who were the most satisfied with their marriages were the
ones who held the most prosaic view of their loved ones.

Satisfaction with marriage decreases when our expectations don't mesh with
reality. Newlyweds, especially, have a tendency to think their relationships
will be perfect--even in times of stress. That just sets them up for
disappointment and dissatisfaction. Repeat this enough, and it can actually
lead to divorce.

Best advice: Get your lover off the pedestal.

The study findings were published in the Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology.

#########################
- MARRIAGE....EVERY THOUGHT I NEVER HAD
Here's a first-person account several of you sent in. It's off a website,
Useless-Knowledge.com - conveys the sense of helplessness so many feel in
the face of the challenges of marriage. I've contacted the author and
encouraged her to get her parents to a class (it's never too late); to
definitely take a course or three before she sets off on her own stepfamily
journey; and to plan to attend Smart Marriages. - diane

By L.J. Chapman
Sept. 25, 2004

One of my first articles I wrote for this site was about my thoughts on the
lack of the sanctity of marriage of my generation. I said that my generation
didn't take it seriously. And in the article, I mentioned that my parents
were together for 24 years and they were showing no signs of splitting up. I
was wrong.

Most children are devestated when their parents get divorced. They are
typically young and impressionable, and they become upset when the news is
dropped on them. Their school grades are affected, their attitudes are
affected. Young children are very affected by divorce. This morning, I found
out grown adults are also very affected by divorce. They get angry, upset,
the whole nine.

So after my whole deal about how good old mom and dad are staying together
through thick and thin, two kids, two grandkids, and three prison terms, I
was wrong. D-I-V-O-R-C-E. All done, no more talking, no more trying. Just no
more. Scares the hell out of me that even after 24 years, marriages can
still crumble so quickly.

In every relationship I have ever been in, I wanted it to be just like my
mom and dad's marriage. I wanted that kind of strength and love and all
that. I wanted a guy like dad. Hardworking, funny, etc. And I wanted to be
like my mom. Great cook, excellent housekeeper. Why was I dumb enough to
compare my relationships to the June and Ward Cleaver ideation I put my
parents in. It was probably wrong of me to put them there in the first
place.

So here I am, a 24 year old mother of two, preparing for a marriage of my
own, sulking about my mom and dad's decision to end their marriage. I really
thought that they could do it. I really thought that I had the parents that
weren't going to stop at anything. I mean, for Christ's sake, they've been
through everything. Maybe it just got to hard. Maybe after all the prison
and the fighting and the sickness, it just got to be too much, and even
though the prison sentence is almost over, and it's almost at an end. I
guess everyone just got really tired. But I'm mad, and I don't know why.
It's not my life or really my business. It's just happening. I can't stop
it, I can't control it. It's just another thing in my life to add to my
insomnia.
------------
About the author L.J. Chapman: I am 24 years old and I live in Massachusetts
with my two children. I am going to be getting married to my fiance' Josh,
in October of 2005. I have written several poems for poetry.com and I am in
the middle of writing my first novel "The Checkered Blanket" which is a work
of fiction.
#########################
- DON'T THINK OF DIVORCE AS INEVITABLE

(I've also contacted this columnist to let her know about the wide array of
classes, courses, and marriage-strengthening programs on the Smart Marriages
Directory. For all our efforts, it's journalists that are the front line
troops - the culture change agents. Please ALWAYS connect with journalists
that show an interest. And, send me their contact info. Remember,
journalists attend the conference as our guests. Go ahead and invite them.
- diane)

SHAUNTI FELDHAHN | GUEST COLUMN
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Sept 22, 2004

As we head into the election, efforts to protect traditional marriage will
intensify. But if we're not careful, we may overlook a critical means of
supporting this most critical institution: reducing the divorce rate.

Roughly 80 percent of Americans believe marriage is for life. But an
estimated 40 percent of first marriages end in divorce, ravaging all
involved x especially the children. Our society has made it distressingly
easy for millions to break what they intended to be a lifelong covenant. And
because our culture has come to accept divorce as an unfortunate fact of
life, we are less likely to appreciate the finality and sanctity of
marriage. We become more likely, when the relationship gets rocky, to listen
to that insidious whisper: There's always a way out.

I've had more than one hurting friend say, in a dark marriage season, that
divorce was "inevitable." And my encouragement for them individually is the
same as for us as a society: No, it's not inevitable. Although it will take
work to get there, there is light and hope where the blackness ends.

No one knows the exact divorce rate. (It's not the oft-quoted 50 percent,
which simply divides 2 million marriages each year by 1 million divorces.)
But we do know the effects. Those divorced are much more likely to divorce
again. And children of broken homes are far more likely to suffer emotional,
behavioral and economic problems than those whose parents toughed it out.
Studies show that as long as there was no abuse, children of intact families
do better even when there is significant strife in the home.

Here in Georgia, an organization that has studied the devastation left by
broken families x the Georgia Family Council x is pioneering a statewide
effort to slash the divorce rate by 35 percent in eight years, which would
annually save 12,500 marriages. As GFC President Randy Hicks told me: "The
temptation with any social problem x like divorce x is to throw up our hands
and surrender to it and say, 'This is the new reality; we just need to
accept it and make do.' But we don't do that with any other social problem.
We don't do that with drug use, or crime, or poverty. We fight for ways to
solve it. And because human well-being is so connected to the strength of
marriages, it is that much more important to find a way to solve the problem
of divorce."

The 20-year history of the national Marriage Savers group proves that the
divorce rate can indeed be cut x and by huge amounts. Where clergy and other
community leaders have come together to strengthen marriage in a given city,
divorce rates have fallen by as much as half. Simple initiatives such as
encouraging premarital counseling and extending the waiting period for
divorce have radically altered the destiny of tens of thousands of families.
Couples receiving 12 hours of premarital counseling halve their chances of
divorce, and lengthening the divorce waiting period from two months to four
months reduces divorce by 40 percent, as couples get more time to work
through their problems.

The hopeful possibilities are staggering, and the Georgia Family Council
(gafam.org) is moving to seize them. For the last 18 months, the group has
been modeling the best of these scattered initiatives and launching

MarriageNet, its statewide effort. Currently testing the program in four
communities, the group is raising the program budget and plans on
exponential growth.

Divorce is not inevitable x for individuals or for our society. I am
encouraged that tens of thousands of Georgia families will soon discover
this hope for themselves.

x Shaunti Feldhahn of Norcross is the author of several books. Her column
appears Wednesdays.
##############################
- BETTER TO BUILD BOYS THAN MEND MEN
Sept. 22, 2004
Column #1,203
"Better To Build Boys Than Mend Men"
by Michael J. McManus

(Sharing this because this guy, Cathy, has been sponsoring
marriage-strengthening retreats and summits - inviting people like Julie
Baumgardner and Gary Smalley in to his marriage retreat center to
strategize. All kinds of people are waking up to the idea that strengthening
marriage makes sense. - diane)

How does a corporate leader who is also a deeply committed Christian behave
differently from other businessmen of nominal faith?

Consider S. Truett Cathy, 83, founder of the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A
restaurant chain. At one level he is quite similar to other businessmen:
successful. Since he opened his first restaurant in 1946, more than 1,150
restaurants have opened in 38 states. Sales in 2003 were $1.5 billion, and
it is the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the
nation.

Everything else is different. First, all Chick-fil-As" close on Sunday, a
big day for business. His son Dan Cathy, 51, now the firm's President,
explained that his father grew up in a fatherless home, which his mother ran
as a boarding house. While his sisters laundered sheets, Truett helped his
mother cook. He did not mind doing so during the week, but he longed for a
divine day of rest on Sunday.

"He decided that if he ever opened a restaurant, he would not ask others to
do, what he was unwilling to do. Sunday was a special day for my dad. And
it has not hurt business. We demonstrated more sales in six days than
competitors who were open seven."

His father asserts,. "It's the best business decision I ever made. We
realize we could do a large amount of volume that day but it's been to our
benefit. I think people go out of their way to eat with us six days a week.
I say let them eat somewhere else on Sunday and compare the food and
service."

Dan adds, "There are also practical benefits. We feel better on Monday when
we have had the opportunity to rest on Sunday. Retail is a high stress
business. Pressure is constant. We allow 60-70 Chick-fil-A employees to
recover."

Second, Truett Cathy has used his day off to worship at First Baptist
Church of Fayetteville, GA and to teach Sunday School to 13-year-old boys
for more than 50 years. Nor is he just a Sunday Christian. His WinShape
Centre Foundation, which grew from his desire to "shape winners" has given
$18 million in scholarships to Chick-fil-A employees.

He has opened 14 WinShape homes for foster children, giving kids who have
often been shuttled from one foster home to another - the opportunity to
have a "true, permanent home" with up to 12 children and a "mother and
father."

Third, the business is designed to have a positive impact on young people's
lives. "Our purpose is to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all
that He has entrusted to us," says Dan. "We use this business as a front for
impacting young people's lives," both employees and customers. The
placemats do not feature a monster of the month, but character values.

Another charity focuses on strengthening marriages, such as a conference
center that helps couples in crisis.

Finally, Truett Cathy has just written a little book that would make a nice
gift for any father called "It's Better to Build Boys Than To Mend Men." As
Art Linkletter writes in the Foreword, "Never before in the history of
Western civilization has a generation of children been subjected to such an
avalanche of vulgarity, violence, drug abuse and sexual promiscuity."

Cathy's answer is simple: "God wants to work through you to change the life
of a child. Every child I know who overcame long odds and grew into a
responsible adult can point to an adult who stepped into his or her life as
a friend, mentor and guide."

He notes that 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from
fatherless homes plus 71 percent of school dropouts and 85 percent of those
in prison. As a father, grandfather of 12 plus 135 foster children he's
helped, Chick-fil-A's founder writes wise words of counsel:

"Stop arguing in front of your children."

"Don't consider watching TV with your children to be ?quality time.' You
may be in the same room but you are not together. Participate in activities
with your children. Play games."

"One of the quickest ways to turn sixteen-year-old children into prodigals
is give them their own car."

"It is much easier to hire a good attitude than to change a bad one."

"If our children are to remain pure, we must do three things:

x "Pray for them.

x "Model purity.

x "Talk to them about remaining pure. This is your responsibility as a
parent."

Truett Cathy "is one of the extraordinary people of my generation,"
concludes Art Linkletter.

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